Tag Archives: home office

Your home (office) away from home

For most, their careers consist of getting up in the morning and going to work until the end of the day. At work, they interact with colleagues, use office supplies and equipment and stick to a strict work schedule. But for some, earning money doesn’t involve commuting to and from an office. Whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur or sales representative, you’re likely to be based at home with sporadic visits to clients or partners.

This type of career comes with unique challenges. Your schedule, deadlines and interactions are all in your hands and it can be difficult to stay motivated throughout the day and week. Especially with all the temptations of leisure at home and plenty of time on your hands. If you’re one of these people and are wondering how to optimally conduct your business at home, you’re in luck. Here are some things to consider when working from home.

Your routine

At this point, you’ll know that a schedule is near impossible to maintain at home. Everything that makes your life enjoyable is under the same roof – food, television, sleep. It can be quite the task to work a set number of hours a day when you’re not surrounded by colleagues who all work those same hours.

In order to be your optimally productive self, you need to set up a routine that you can stick to. There’s no use telling yourself you’ll work from 8 to 5 when you’re not a morning person. Consider when you’re the most productive and adjust your work schedule accordingly. Just keep in mind that the people you’ll do business with will likely follow standard working hours. Keeping that in mind, working from 6pm to late won’t be the best option.

Once you have you scheduled worked out, stick to it by seeing it as your office hours. In other words, you have to get up and get ready at a certain time in order to get to work when you need to.

Your social life

In an office environment, you’ll have many interactions with colleagues around the coffee machine or over lunch. When you work from home, you won’t necessarily have these social breaks unless there are other people at home with you. This can damage your productivity as these social interactions provide you with time to clear your head and sometimes even the opportunity to discuss work-related ideas.

To avoid missing out on these necessary breaks, leave time in your schedule for breaks, social interactions and idea creation. Take some time every hour or two to make a cup of coffee and stretch your legs. This will get the blood flowing again and you’ll be ready for another productive session.

Avoid checking your phone constantly. Instead, leave time in your schedule to answer any personal texts or catch up with friends and family over the phone. Who knows? Gran might have a brilliant idea for you to explore. And lastly, head to your nearest coffee shop over lunch for a bite and a quick internet browse to see what’s going on in your field that day.

Your environment

Office spaces are designed to be conducive to work. Your house, on the other hand, might not be. It’s important to have a designated space for work where you can sit at a table and plug in your computer. Ideally, this space won’t be in your room.

In terms of the elements inside of the room, some planning can go a long way. Think about the kind of work you do. Are you constantly on the phone with clients? Make sure you have a phone nearby. Do you need to scan a lot of documents? Ensure that your scanner or printer is close enough that you can easily access it. Nothing ruins workflow quite like having to go find the equipment you need.

In order to make your workspace fully functional, you might need field-specific equipment. Whether you’re employed and working from home or running your own business, there will be equipment finance options for the apparatus you need.

Your sanity

Lastly, it’s crucial to look after your sanity. By implementing these guidelines, you should be able to strike a balance between home and work life. The most important thing to remember is that these things are separate. When you’ve reached your knockoff time, close up until tomorrow and get some rest. After all, you won’t be very productive if you burn out.

Remember why it is that you’re working. Keep the goal in mind and remind yourself of the rewards your hard work will earn. But also afford yourself the necessary time to rest and ready yourself for the next working day.

How to spruce up your home office

Today, the average professional usually has a space at home to work. This could work for both students and the career-driven person. With mobility built in to every aspect of technology today, we literally can take our work home with us. Creating a space at home we can work with means we can properly develop and improve it.

What is a work space?

A space to work efficiently isn’t merely an open area where we can plug our computers in. We have to work and plan according to our careers. If we simply work on writing all day, then we probably don’t need actual working space bigger than a table. However, if we’re creating art or are more designed focus, we’ll need wider spaces. As professionals, however, we already know what’s required in order to work efficiently.

As Entrepreneur points out:

“You will greatly maximize your chances of putting together the most productive, functional, and visually appealing workspace at the lowest possible cost if you take the time necessary to plan your workspace well in advance of actually setting it up.”

Doing it now prevents later disasters or interruptions. Setting up a proper workspace means we will do less later and, therefore, be more productive.

What to improve

One of the major reasons home offices function is due to their ability to connect and stay online. We must make sure we create an internet-accessible space, that works always.

An essential way to do that is with excellent WiFi routers. We must install these in the right areas. We must put these in places where the signal won’t be restricted by walls or other obstructions.

Another important aspect – and one that’s often overlooked – is making sure it’s comfortable and clean. This could mean getting the right blankets or designer duvet covers for a nearby bed. Working from home shouldn’t negate the advantages of home. Indeed, there’s research advocating for employers to let their employees nap – they become more productive with this freedom, says one academic.

Of course, we still need discipline but that’s what should make us good workers. There’s no reason the advantages of home should be incompatible with good working. We still need comfort, warmth, enough rest and so on, which are aspects of home, too.

With this in mind, we can design a good home office space and thereby become more productive.